Opportunities for anglers in Michigan keep increasing as the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports it stocked more than 33 million fish this spring and summer.
“We experienced outstanding spring and summer stocking seasons that will bring significant benefits and fishing opportunities to Michigan anglers,” says DNR Fish Production Manager Ed Eisch.
The DNR says its Fisheries Division stocked a total of 33,308,068 fish that weighed more than 343 tons. Stocked fish included nine different species and one hybrid.
And it took more than a couple DNR staff with a truck to stock 33 million fish in state waters. According to the DNR, stocking efforts took more than 400 trips to more than 750 sites. Travel totaled more than 105,000 miles for staff over the course of 2,624 hours using 17 specialized trucks.
“With the hard work and dedication of our staff, fish were reared and delivered to stocking sites in excellent condition,” Eisch says. “The numbers produced and stocked were right on target for almost all areas.”
The type and number of fish stocked in state waters varies by hatcheries and source and temperature of the rearing water.
“We had an exceptionally good year for walleye production. Hatch and early survival was fantastic, which resulted in many more fry than we can rear to fingerling size,” Eisch says. “Fortunately, a newly funded project included in the 2017 budget should allow us to put in additional rearing ponds at Thompson State Fish Hatchery.
“Expansion of Michigan’s coolwater program would get us even closer to being able to reach all of our walleye and muskellunge rearing targets.” Michigan has six state and two cooperative hatcheries to produce fish for stocking.